Wildlife biologists at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission are praising Asheville residents for helping them locate a distressed female bear cub wandering in North Asheville. The bear had a clear container stuck on its head.

District Biologist Justin McVey received the initial report Nov. 15 that a bear cub was seen with a jug on its head, likely a result from trash.

McVey and staff spent the next two days looking for the bear, and the Wildlife Commission employed public outreach to identify its location.

“Thanks to direct calls to our biologists and messages in response to our agency’s NextDoor post, Asheville residents led us directly to the cub,” said McVey. “We were able to safely dart and anesthetize the bear, remove the jug from her head and perform a health check. She was in great health, with no injuries or lacerations, and immediately relocated to a remote area in Western North Carolina.”

Upon release, McVey noted the cub was feisty and ready to go, which is a great sign. The outcome could have been much different if the people of Asheville hadn’t worked directly with the Wildlife Commission to locate the bear.

“Thanks to everyone who helped our staff quickly respond to this cub in distress. Our staff are trained specifically for these types of situations. It’s a huge help when folks contact us directly; it helps us respond quickly,” McVey said.

To learn more about how to live responsibly with bears, including tips about how to properly secure trash, visit BearWise.org.

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